The latest manga series has transitioned to anime with the landing of Spy X Family on Crunchyroll. The first episode to air weekly on the streaming service has made its debut, featuring this tale of a spy who adopts a teenage girl, heartwarming, comedic and a breath of fresh air for those who want to dive into a little more grounded tale. It’s a mix of James Bond, The Americans and The Game Plan, with a touch of mind reading.
Episode 1 follows Twilight, a successful secret agent who is tasked with reaching out to a political boss for information. However, the caveat is that Twilight (using the name Loid Forger in this new mission) must have a child to do this. He finds the necessary child at an orphanage and adopts young Anya, who happens to be telepathic – an ability she keeps to herself. To complete her mission, Twilight must face enemies intent on harming her while raising a telepathic child.
Spy X Family is funny but subtle, with a sense of humor that doesn’t go overboard in conveying a joke to the viewer. His comedy reflects the genre itself. There’s a whole piece of a hairpiece that’s mentioned a few times in the first episode that’s very funny but treated as a serious topic of conversation. It’s the signature tone of this show, and while it’s not new, it’s fresh. And then there’s Anya, who fits the image of a typical kid character in anime: she’s everywhere and emotional – just like a real kid. Her moments of dreading Twilight leaving her because she knows too much about her serve as fun comedic moments, layered over some very realistic abandonment issues she’s having.
What begins as a fish-on-water tale in which Twilight must dive headfirst into fatherhood quickly becomes the most endearing of the episode. Yes, it’s just an episode of Spy X Family, but the groundwork has been laid and you can see how Twilight will adapt to this new challenge. Getting information on a target is a times-by-numbers task for the super spy, but the thrill of this show is watching him change and learn to be a dad – and the fact that he knows, too that changes are taking place.
Of course, there are some great action sequences that come to life from the manga, which was originally written and illustrated by Tatsuya Endo. It’s not going to be an action-packed show, but the few sequences we got in Episode 1 were a lot of fun. The manga-to-anime adaptation works really well here.
Usually, one episode of a TV show or anime is not enough to give a fair assessment of the series as a whole, as the opener usually lays the foundation for the world, its characters, and its stories. However, Spy X Family does such a good job of captivating the viewer with a fast-paced story that it never feels boring. It never feels like an exposure dump — even if you get an exposure dump for the first five minutes of the show. That in itself is a fantastic achievement.
Spy X Family may be a story that follows the world of spying, but it’s much more of a story about becoming a father. Any parent can tell you that by the time your child reaches a certain age, they feel like their child can read your mind – I know this from personal experience – so what makes this story work so well is that it It’s really about juggling your work and personal life. and when you combine the two things, it becomes extremely difficult. It’s a show that also gets better with re-watching because you tend to take on those work/family commitments more. The first installment of this is a home run and I can’t wait to see more.